(Continued from A Wolf Leaves the Cottage)
The Kingsroad had heard many a ballad in its time; even a naughty limerick or two along the way. It had heard birdsong and bard song, mummers and musicians. But until this morning, it was unlike that this stretch of road had heard a singing wolf.
At least not one of such excruciating talent.
"Ooohhhh, there once was a wolf from White Harbor! Whose charm could woo any noble's daughter.
And one day in Wolfwoods he did go. For what reason no one shall know.
And there he soon became lost... And…"
Corryn paused for a moment and scratched his head. "Lost… flossed… moss… bollocks and damnation. What rhymes with lost?"
Barton snorted. "Do you honestly think I'd tell you if I knew, ser?" he said with a half-chuckle.
Even Valarr whinnied in protest, his flanks shaking beneath Corryn as they rode southward. That the horse had yet to throw its ridiculous rider was a credit to its training. But even an animal bred for war could suffer such misery for only so long.
Corryn smirked. "I'll have you know, my good man, that the ladies of House Martell love my musical genius."
"Deaf are they, ser?"
"Oh, so they do teach you wit at the Dreadfort, do they?"
Barton shrugged his angular shoulders. "When we're not busy flaying horrible singers, aye."
Corryn laughed and leaned back in his saddle. "Alright, I shall spare you another verse of what is soon to be the ballad of our life time."
"And I am sure all of Westeros shall weep for the loss, ser."
Despite their awkward beginnings, Corryn and Barton had begun to warm to one another during their cross-country trip. Their spirits had raised considerably when they found the Kingsroad and began the easier ride to Winterfell. So much so that Corryn had taken to singing, albeit poorly. In truth, he could sing quite well, but self-mockery felt more appropriate at the moment and had brought Barton's humor out. After an hour, they'd begun trading barbed jests as if they'd riding together for years.
As they turned a small bend, they noticed a young stag ahead of them; licking the dew off the tall grass along the roadside. The stag raised its horned head and stared at them for a moment before bolting off into the thick trees. Corryn watched it disappear into the underbrush and smiled to himself.
"It's been too long," he said.
"It's been too long since I had a moment like that," Corryn explained.
"It's been too long since I was riding again."
"Well, we have plenty to do yet, ser."
"Aye. That we do." Corryn gave Valarr another touch of spur to hasten their pace toward Winterfell and Limosa.
After an hour or so riding, they became aware of a small party ahead of them on the Kingsroad. The tall young man with the thick thatcch of blonde hair bore a remarkable resemblance to Volf, whicle the woman to whom he was deferentially bending his head ...
Could it really be Syndra?
"Hold up. Riders ahead," Corryn said, tugging back on his reins. Being a warhorse, Valarr had a tendency of rushing at people when he got up to speed, so it took some effort to slow his pace. He gave an angry whinny, but calmed down after a gentle patting on the neck.
"That looks like Volf," he said.
Barton shrugged, having only seen the boy briefly during the trial.
"And that… Nah," Corryn continued, his hazel eyes scanning the group as they took up defensive positions. "Warrior's Balls, I think it is. What would she be doing here."
"I find myself bereft of answers, ser," Barton said, touching his sword upon seeing the group's actions.
Corryn noticed and shook his head. "Don't worry. I think I know these people."
He put his hand to his mouth and yelled, "Little Bear!"
(Continued in Syndra- Straight on to Winterfell)